This site was created to support students and teachers who use the book Letter Fountain, published by TASCHEN GmbH (www.taschen.com). This site includes a small part of the text from Letter Fountain. Under the menu item Extras, you will find a list of downloadable items such as timelines, exercises for students and the book’s extensive bibliography. Not included in this site are the book’s printed examples of 150 typefaces as type specimens, which make it easier to choose an appropriate font for any job. The book’s 144 pages of functional indices, its beautiful historical index of type companies and its glossary are not included on this site because they serve their role only in the book itself.
Before about 1990, a book like Letter Fountain would have been aimed at the professional community of typesetters, publishers, typographers, graphic designers and advertising agencies – but times change. According to the cover of Dutch designer Mieke Gerritzen’s manifesto Everyone Is a Designer in the Age of Social Media – anyone who wants to can write, set, turn their hand to layout or graphic design and even design typefaces. So, obviously, the avid computer user will do so. The consequence: an avalanche of printed material that is aesthetically and technically of a dubious quality. Fortunately, this proliferation has gradually subsided. Just as truly beautiful renovations remain the province of the real craftsman despite the surge in DIY, so it is with legibility and good typography: they will only be achieved by applying the knowledge that has been built up over the past five hundred years. Therefore, this heavily revised edition is not only useful for professionals, but also for a new group of people interested in typography and typefaces.